|By Ann Belser, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The 56-year-old McCandless resident is a computer and information systems manager with a skill set in designing and implementing software that should guarantee employment.
Yet 17 months after losing his job as a principal product manager in the storage management suite for CA Technologies,
It's not because he is sitting on the couch. He has made it his job for the past 17 months to work full-time on getting work.
But like 3 million Americans,
In the 66 years that the federal government has been keeping employment statistics, there have never been so many people — either as a percentage or just in number — who have been unemployed for so long as in the years since the end of the Great Recession.
Typically, unemployment benefits are available to people who have been laid off for 26 weeks, but in times of economic distress such as the Great Recession or even in the recessions of the previous two decades,
But the authorization enabling unemployment compensation to be extended expired in
With that, 1.3 million people who had been receiving extended unemployment insurance nationally were immediately cut off. During the first eight months of 2014, another 2.1 million reached six months of unemployment compensation and had their benefits stopped, according to figures gathered by the
A report from the
That translates to about 7.1 million people who are unemployed, but not receiving benefits. Those ranks include people who are long-term unemployed, as well as those who just entered the workforce and would not be eligible for benefits, plus those who quit their jobs and are therefore not eligible.
A study of the long-term unemployed by the
The study found 20 percent of workers, or nearly 30 million people, have been laid off from a job in the last five years. Of that group, 39 percent reported that they searched for a job for more than seven months before finding a job. Another 22 percent said they have not found a new job.
"According to the survey, the loss of a job and diminished finances took both an emotional and financial toll," the Rutgers study said. "More than six in 10 unemployed say they experienced stress in family relationships and close friendships during their time without a job."
The center, a part of the Jewish Family & Children's Service of
"These people are very qualified people. They have great credentials, great experience and degrees," said
"People want to be working. They don't want to be collecting unemployment,"
"It's never been more difficult to find a job," said
Mostly what job seekers hear from prospective employers is nothing. If they don't get an interview, they don't get a response to their application; and if they do get an interview and don't get the job, mostly they are never formally rejected.
Following his career coach's advice, he looks for possible connections to each employer on
It's hard to remain positive. He maintains a spreadsheet of jobs for which he has applied and the responses received.
The documentation shows more than 150 networking meetings and more than 500 job applications. He even came close to landing a couple.
Looking for a job is not the hardest part, he said.
It's that he is not working. "You might as well cut my chest open and rip my heart out," he said.
"What this year and a half has done for me is to show how valuable it is to have a relationship at home; how valuable it is to walk in the park; and how valuable it is to play golf," he said. "I don't need the big money or the big job and big title.
"I never thought it would take this long to find a job,"
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